Workers at the Church of Scotland are demanding that management show they are serious about reforming their approach to employment rights after the collapse of ACAS talks earlier this week as a dispute over an imposed pay deal intensifies.
Church of Scotland representatives walked-out of last-ditch conciliation talks this week after they refused to acknowledge or apologise for by-passing the recognised collective agreement and sabotaging negotiations for the 2014 pay deal.
An indefinite ban on overtime began this morning (Friday 9 May) and a two-day strike is scheduled for next week (Friday 16 May) along with a one hour walkout to coincide with the Royal opening of the 2014 general assembly (Wednesday 14 May).
Unite had been negotiating with the church over the allocation of an £80,000 budget for the 2014 wage claim when management suddenly imposed a flat-rate £300 for every employee, ignoring the wishes and recommendations of the workforce.
Unite industrial officer Gillian McKay said: “In all my years of representing workers’ interests I have rarely came across a management that is so contemptuous towards the welfare of its own employees, which is bitterly ironic given the context we are in here.
“Quite simply, the Church needs to show its workers more respect - and they need to demonstrate this quickly and in a meaningful manner - but by blatantly undermining basic employment rights and abandoning crucial conciliation efforts it only demonstrates how out of touch they really are.
“Unite remains ready and willing to sit-down with the church to resolve this dispute and spare them further embarrassment, but that requires serious reforms from management in their approach to employment relations.
“Our members view their job as a vocation and deserve better; the church needs to start practicing what it preaches.”
For further information please contact Gillian McKay on 07798 531007 or Peter Welsh on 07810 157931.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.